Bukas Palad grew from ten years of friendship. Norman Agatep, Jandi Arboleda and Manoling Francisco met and became good friends in their fifth grade at Ateneo de Manila Grade School. Singing and playing music together had been integral to their friendship, and their personal encounters with the Lord bore fruit in talent, in vision, and in community that is Bukas Palad . The talent lay in the field of music. The vision sprang from their belief that music can inspire and sustain faith. The community consists of friendships whose common cause of seeking the Lord and serving our people finds union in prayer and song.
In 1986, the still nameless group began its mission at a wedding. Soon after, they recorded and released albums of their original songs. In 1988, the group formally expressed through a statement that the mission of the group is to spread and enrich the faith through music, fully aware of how inspired faith can enrich people’s lives. From the group emerged composers, arrangers, performers and choreographers. Each year, Bukas Palad appeared in different venues: auditoriums, parishes, schools, plazas, and even once in a cockpit.
Bukas Palad would sing old and new liturgical songs, and once in a while, pop numbers would spice up the repertoire. A healthy dose of humor helped to keep the members (in) sane enough to continue singing each year. Friendships that have been formed between old and new members helped sustain the energy and commitment of the community. And yet, what continued to be the well-spring of all these was a commitment to bring people closer to the heart and will of God.
After 20 years, seven compact discs and countless singing engagements, Bukas Palad continues to be a group of friends who simply wish to share their music to reveal the joyful grandeur, the simplicity and serene reality of God’s presence in the world. Bukas Palad popularized the songs “I Will Sing Forever”, “Humayo’t Ihayag”, “Tanging Yaman”, “Sa ‘Yo Lamang” and “Mariang Ina Ko”.